The JCPS Board of Directors votes to make masks optional based on local COVID-19 cases
The JCPS Board of Directors votes to make masks optional based on local COVID-19 cases

The JCPS Board of Directors votes to make masks optional based on local COVID-19 cases

The Jefferson County Board of Education voted Tuesday night to follow the latest CDC guidelines that make masks optional when community outreach is medium or low. COVID-19 cases have dropped sharply across Jefferson County Public Schools. The district reported more than 1,748 positive cases among students in the first week of January. In the last week of February the number was down to 73. Personnel cases also fell during that time from 512 to only 25. “We see a very low positivity rate and very low spread at this time. A very positive sign, especially when it comes to our staff and the mitigation strategies we have had, “said Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio. These positive signs have reinforced the calls to end mask mandates, but board member Dr. “Chris Kold is still hesitant to loosen the masking requirements.” Still believes that caution is the way we should go. We still have 1,500 people dying of COVID nationally. That equates to a 9/11 every other day, “Kolb said. Board member Joseph Marshall said it was clear the community has chosen to learn to live with COVID-19 and questioned whether it was time for the district to do the same. “It does not take any of us long to go out where in our city right now and see that our public has moved, “Marshall said. Board member Sarah McIntosh was also ready to move forward with the state and CDC leaders. “That’s what I recommend. That’s what I support is to continue to follow these doctors and listen to their advice,” McIntosh said. Board member James Craig agreed that the board has always followed the CDC’s and state public health guidelines when it comes to imposing mandates. “When the public health guidelines say easing restrictions is appropriate, I think we should consider the public health guidelines Craig.Craig proposed that the board vote to follow the CDC guidelines, giving Pollio the power to make masks optional when the community spread is medium or low. Pollio promised to follow the guidelines. “If it is yellow, it would be optional. “If we go to red, we would go back and we would have a mandate for masks,” Pollio said. likely to use if the situation arises.The measure was passed with four yes votes and three no votes.Board Chairman Diane Porter, Corrie Shull and Kolb all voted no.In the end, however, Pollio will be the one to decide when masks are required , and when they are not required, according to JCPS Communications Manager Mark Herbert.Masks will still be required at JCPS schools on Wednesday, Herbert added, as there will be some time to implement the change.The policy will be in place until the 30th. June, where the board plans to reassess the situation.

The Jefferson County Board of Education voted Tuesday night to follow the latest CDC guidelines that make masks optional when community outreach is medium or low.

COVID-19 cases have dropped sharply across Jefferson County Public Schools. The district reported more than 1,748 positive cases among students in the first week of January. In the last week of February, the figure was down to 73.

Personnel cases also fell during that time from 512 to only 25.

“We are seeing a very low positivity rate and very low spread at this point. A very positive sign, especially when it comes to our staff and the mitigation strategies we have had,” said Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio.

These positive signs have reinforced the calls to end mask mandates, but board member Dr. Chris Kold is still hesitant to loosen the masking requirements.

“I still think caution is the way we should go. We still have at national level 1,500 people a day dying of COVID. That equates to a 9/11 every other day,” Kolb said.

Board member Joseph Marshall said it was clear the community had chosen to learn to live with COVID-19 and questioned whether it was time for the district to do the same.

“We are a public institution, and so as a public institution we are in many ways at the whim of the public. It does not take any of us much time to go out anywhere in our city right now and see that our public has shifted, “Marshall said.

Board member Sarah McIntosh was also ready to move forward with the state and CDC leaders.

“That’s what I recommend. That’s what I support is to continue to follow these doctors and listen to their advice,” McIntosh said.

Board member James Craig agreed that the board has always followed the CDC and the state’s guidelines for public health when it comes to imposing mandates.

“On the other hand, when the Public Health Guide says that easing restrictions is appropriate, I think we should consider the public health guide,” Craig said.

Craig proposed that the board vote to follow the CDC guidelines, giving Pollio the power to make masks optional when the spread of society is medium or low.

Pollio promised to follow the instructions.

“If it is yellow, it would be optional. If we go to red, we would go back and we would have a mandate for masks,” Pollio said.

The guide also provides the ability to impose masks on specific schools if there is an outbreak, a tool Pollio said he is likely to use if the situation arises.

The measure was adopted by four votes in favor and three against.

Chairman Diane Porter, Corrie Shull and Kolb all voted no.

Ultimately, though, Pollio will be the one to decide when masks are required and when they are not, according to JCPS Communications Manager Mark Herbert.

Masks will still be required at JCPS schools on Wednesday, Herbert added, as there needs to be some time to implement the change.

The policy will be in place until June 30, when the board plans to reassess the situation.

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